Leas Cheann Comhairle, Deputy Pat 'the cope' Gallagher has been informed that approval has been granted for the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town to design and construct a general purposes and dining area for the school.
The extension will cover an area of approximately 390 m2 and will be multi-purpose.
The approval comes following extensive lobbying of the department and raising the matter over the past number of years in the Dáil. The school has also been granted planning permission approval for two temporary classrooms, while applications are being prepared at present for 6 permanent classrooms and a new ASD unit at the School.
"This is the third department approval for the Abbey Vocational School in the past years and I am delighted that our lobbying and pressuring the Department has yielded further results," he said.
Pat the Cope said the Abbey Vocational School is currently experiencing a massive growth in student enrolment and earlier this year temporary accommodation had to be approved for the school in order to cater for the 180 new enrolments in this current academic year. Planning for the two temporary accommodation units has already been granted over the past number of months.
The Abbey Vocational School has also received approval for six additional permanent classrooms in order to meet the growing student demand on the school and in addition the school has also been approved an ASD Unit, consisting of a 550 m2 facility - the necessary planning applications for both these approvals is underway and the necessary documents will be shortly lodged with the local authority Deputy Gallagher said.
"The approval granted today will assist the school in providing additional common space within the school and that is to be welcomed, as the school is currently under pressure for space with the very large school enrolment," the Dungloe-based representative said.
Deputy Gallagher said that he will continue to maintain the pressure on the Department of Education in order to approve the major capital works this school urgently needs – an application has been submitted to the department and is awaiting approval to move to the next stage.
"Today’s announcement is an important next step in bringing the Abbey Vocational School to the capacity and standards that the school requires to cater for their entire student cohort but much more requires to be done to meet the growing demands of this school and I will be raising the outstanding matters within the Dáil at the earliest opportunity. I wish to compliment the school management, staff and the ETB for their ongoing commitment to the school and the excellent work they do on behalf of the school," the Leas Cheann Comhairleach said.